The new year offers a new start. Perhaps the security of your home or business has been neglected and needs a fresh approach too. Charnel Hattingh, national marketing and communications manager at Fidelity ADT, says now is the opportune time to consider whether your home and business security systems are still adequate.
“When last did you test your alarm system? It’s one of those things that may have slipped by the wayside but is vitally important. You must be sure that the system still works and that your security company will receive an alarm signal in case of an emergency,” she says.
Hattingh says it’s also key that your security company has all your updated contact information so that they know exactly who to contact in case of an emergency. This includes the details of secondary contact people, in case the main contact person is not reachable.
“Wear and tear is inevitable on any system, as is plant growth. That’s why a regular check of the system and the surrounds needs to be done. Take a walk around the property. If you have big bushes or plants in your garden, make sure they don’t obscure any outdoor passive or infrared alarm sensors,” she advises. If you have done renovations over the last year, check if the new rooms or areas are adequately covered by the alarm system and that the alarm system or components have not been compromised or damaged during the renovations.
“Make sure any items that could be used to break into your home or business are stored in a secure location such as a shed. This could include garden tools, ladders, and such. Ideally choose a location that is protected by an outdoor or passive infrared detector.”
Regarding wear and tear on security systems, maintenance, upgrades and replacements are a necessity. “Waiting until the system becomes faulty is not ideal. Unfortunately, we do encounter incidents at businesses where a break-in has occurred and only then do business owners realise that their security system was not operating correctly. With regular maintenance and testing, this can be avoided.”
Perimeter security remains key as a first line of defence. “Evaluate your access control, gates, electric fencing, and beams. Are they still in good condition? Are they still adequate? It might be time for a perimeter security assessment and upgrade,” says Hattingh.
Fire prevention should also be on the checklist. “Fires are a very real threat and should be taken seriously. Having a fire escape plan, extinguishers and smoke detectors at the property are must-haves,” she says. “Fire extinguishers need to be checked once a year and batteries in smoke detectors do run out so perhaps consider replacing these.”
“It is always best to get a professional in to assess your security solutions at home or at work if you are unsure about whether it is still adequate. These experts will be able to identify any vulnerable areas and offer the best solutions,” she concludes.
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